(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph City Council has endorsed a plan for Mayor Bill McMurray to extend the city's mask mandate another 30 days.
At their regular meeting Monday night, the council voted 6-2 to approve a resolution for the mayor to extend his order. Regardless of the vote, the mayor had already said that he would extend his emergency order. However, he said that he wanted the full support of the council to show the city is interested in public health and not politics.
After the meeting, the mayor said he planned on signing a new emergency order that would continue until November 15. There was some support among council members to extend the order until the end of the year.
Councilman P.J. Novak, who voted against the resolution, said he would have been in favor of the resolution if a smoking ban would have been included for the St. Jo Frontier Casino. He said he had personally witnessed people at gaming tables and slot machines pulling off their masks to smoke and then blowing smoke into the air.
The vote Monday comes as the St. Joseph Health Department reported another 126 new positive Covid-19 cases. That brings the pandemic total for Buchanan County to 2,851. A total of 35 people have died from the coronavirus in the county.
Currently 56 patients are hospitalized at Mosaic Life Care, 54 in their St. Joseph hospital and two at their Maryville facility.